Sunday, June 26, 2005

Durbin v. Rove: The difference in press coverage 

The Washington Times noticed the astonishing difference in coverage of Dick Durbin's absurd speech in the Senate, and Karl Rove's much more moderate presentation a week later:
Major news outlets that largely ignored the controversial comments of the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate last week immediately reported on a fiery speech by White House adviser Karl Rove, giving the story front-page prominence and the lead of newscasts.

Early yesterday morning, NBC's "Today" show, the CBS "Morning Show," and ABC's "Good Morning America" all featured the Democratic outrage over Mr. Rove's comments that after September 11 liberals "wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers" while conservatives "prepared for war."

Each network's nightly newscasts on Thursday also ran stories on Mr. Rove's speech, delivered Wednesday night.

On June 14, Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin compared the military's interrogation techniques at the prison camp at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to that of the Nazis and other murderous regimes.

Yet CBS did not broadcast a single story on the Illinois Democrat's comments. "Today" and "Good Morning America" and those networks' nightly news programs didn't air anything about it until the senator apologized after a week of complaints by Republicans, the Anti-Defamation League and veterans groups.

"What the networks did was zero, zero, zero, zero on Durbin, and as soon as Rove shows up, boom," said Tim Graham, director of media analysis at the conservative Media Research Center. "To say that one deserves zero coverage and the other huge coverage is just bizarre."

Steve Lovelady, managing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review Daily, said he's "not sure if the network morning shows even qualify as journalism these days," describing them as "yuk-fests with periodic headline updates tossed into the mix almost as an afterthought."

But he was still puzzled about why CBS, including their evening news program, ignored the Durbin story altogether. "Nothing about Durbin ever, even after the apology," he said. "I'd love to hear how they justify that."

It really is quite something.



By Blogger Screwy Hoolie, at Sun Jun 26, 11:23:00 PM:

Bill Kristol explained it on FoxNewsSunday  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Mon Jun 27, 11:00:00 AM:

OK, I read your post and saw the Fox video you linked to. I don't see your point. One need not defend to Karl Rove to wonder why his comment, in its context, got so much more coverage from the networks than Durbin's remark, which was, unbelievably, less defensible and uttered on the Senate floor.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jun 27, 12:40:00 PM:

Without reading or seeing any of the precise comments, my guess is that some of this is about the difference between how many Americans might consider themselves liberals (and hence insulted by Rove -- Kristol's 25%) vs. how many Americans are close enough to the military to feel directly insulted by Durbin. Also perhaps the difference between calling people villains and calling them wimps? -- MCU  

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